Rising Sea Levels

by Devin (age 12)

Rising sea levels are caused by three things: glaciers melting, gravity, and rebound. These things can be very destructive to people and animals. In this project, I will talk about how it works and what can be done about it. I hope you enjoy this project. There are links to all of the websites where I got my information.

Melting Glaciers

Glaciers are melting because of all the fossil fuels that we are burning. Fossil fuels come from plants or animals that died a long time ago. Burning them is bad because they give off carbon dioxide, CO2. CO2 is composed of one carbon and two oxygens atoms.

When it rises, CO2 traps the heat inside of the atmosphere bouncing the rays back each time they try to escape. This means the planet starts to heat up more and more. The heat melts the glaciers releasing water that was trapped in them.

Some of the glaciers are two miles deep and many miles long. The longest is the Lambert-Fisher Glacier in Antarctica at 250 miles. 

Scientists know the depth because of new technology that allows them to measure how deep they are. It works by sending signals that bounce back when they hit bedrock. Some things you can do about this are carpooling and looking for things like solar panels (there’s something about this on the website).

Effect of gravity

Some places in the ocean have more amounts of water because the ocean is not flat. It turns out the ocean is actually bumpy because of the continental pull and moon’s gravitational pull. 

Another reason that the ocean is not flat is because of the El Niño wind pushing the water towards the West. The water comes back to where it started after the winds lessen. This is natural but, combined with these other causes, can be devastating to the continents. We can’t really do a lot about this.


The last reason for high ocean levels is natural. It’s called post-glacial rebound. It works like this: imagine if you have a couch cushion when you put something that melts (most likely ice) on it, the cushion goes down and the sides go out and up. Now you are aiming a blow dryer at the ice. The ice melts and the cushion starts going back to its original state. That’s what’s happening now.

The ice age pushed the ground down in the north causing it to go up in the south. Now it's going back to how it was before; the northern land is rising and the southern land is sinking. We also can’t do a lot about this.

Coastline Scenario

Southhampton, NY during Hurricane Sandy

Now that you know of these things, some actions that you can take are:

  1. use less fossil fuels

  2. eating less meat

  3. using more recyclable products

  4. supporting people and companies that     

   are making a difference.

If we don’t try to make a difference some cities will be under water and it will cost a lot of money to either relocate people or build things to keep the water out.